Home > Selling Physical Products > The one I’ve been waiting for

The one I’ve been waiting for

March 25th, 2006

In 1994, when I lived in San Francisco, I published a little
eight-page newspaper called the Internet Gazette.

My friend Jim Warren, founder of the Computer Faire,
the original consumer PC show, gave me the idea
and it worked like crazy for my then-fledgling Internet
consulting business.

I had two stories on the front page of the first issue…

On the right hand side, an article about the Internet
Music Underground, a group that proposed to revolutionize
music by making music downloadable off of the Internet.

On the left hand side of the front page, I commissioned
Hank Duderstadt, a multimedia pioneer, to write an
article about what I thought was right around the corner:
video on the Internet. 

In both cases, I guess I jumped the gun a bit, but back in
1994 putting text and pictures on the Internet was already
a snap and I wanted to get to the good stuff.

— Fast forward to Halloween, 2005

Sometimes you can wait so long for something, you
forget what you’re waiting for.

That was the case with me and Internet video.

I wouldn’t exactly say I lost patiences. Ten plus years is a long
time to be patient about anything, but I did get distracted.

Then, in the early fall of 2005, I got my wake-up call.

Brad Fallon phoned me and asked me if I was online.
I said I was and he pointed me to a web site that sold
Halloween costumes,.

But they didn’t just sell them any old way…

They sold them with a full blown QVC-style program
which they streamed to personal computers from the

Two skilled hosts and a parade of models displaying
the various offerings and highlighting their unique

I was mesmerized.

Brad and I talked about ways the program could be
improved.  For one thing, the costume merchant
transferred the QVC concept a little too literally.

The web site was exactly like an old-style TV program that
didn’t allow you to stop it, pause, or jump to the exact item
you were interested in.

But hey. for a first try it was brilliant.

—  Refining the concept

Brad’s not the kind of guy to let grass grow under
his feet.

Even though he had no experience with video,
let alone TV merchandising, he set to work to
apply the idea to his thriving wedding party favors

In his usual modest, matter-of-fact way, he sent me
this link a few weeks ago, when his experiment
was still in beta.

Now it’s ready for public viewing.

Here’s the deal (as I see it)…

TV didn’t obliterate print, but it sure did upset the
apple cart and TV networks quickly eclipsed the
power and influence of the print world.

Internet video, I believe, has the potential to do the
same thing on the Internet.

There will still be a huge demand for text and picture
pages, but in certain categories, video will have
the effect of a marketing sledge hammer.

I’m sure glad I’m not competing with Brad Fallon
selling wedding party favors online.

When you see this site, you’ll instantly know what
I’m talking about.

The world of merchandising physical products
will never be the same… This is history folks.




P.S. Share this letter with your friends. It’s too good
to keep under a bushel.

Categories: Selling Physical Products Tags:
  1. March 25th, 2006 at 11:12 | #1

    Kudos to Brad!
    There’s so much an online marketer can learn by studying what Brad has done and is doing. The quality of his sites and in this case his videos are top notch!
    QUESTION: Anyone know which, if any, course online teachs how to create and edit videos and market them online? I know Jim Edwards has something out at the moment, but it’s out of my league price wise.

  2. Gary Dumke
    March 25th, 2006 at 13:31 | #2

    Hi Ken – as usual – you provide the “good Stuff – although I still like French Maid Tv!”. Brads stuff is outstanding! But–here is my problem–I live out in the boonies of Ohio–even though I have finally have DSL vs dialup–when I went to see the video – it loaded slowly–was choppy – which leads me to this–as a guy who is very interested in video marketing–are we going to be leaving out the dial up users? Because even with a high speed connection–I don’t know about how patient I would be waiting for everything to load up. Your input on this would be appreciated. Oh- I think you should put together a ABC guide of how to do video–make it like the rest of your stuff–no BS–straightforward and written in non geek. You’ll have people beating a path to your door-I know I’ld be on that path! And also a big thank you for everything to you give us–always appreciated.
    Thanks again
    sullivan Ohio

  3. March 25th, 2006 at 14:53 | #3

    This is awesome. I particularly like the way the product information pops up on the right as each item is being discussed… So let’s see… we’ve got scripting, we’ve got audio/visual production, we’ve got digitizing, we’ve got some fairly sophisticated flash programming… so roughly how much would it cost to get something like this off the ground?

  4. Marlene Green
    March 25th, 2006 at 14:54 | #4

    Wow Ken!
    Thanks for sharing this! It is brilliant! I actually sat here and watched the whole thing and went to the website to buy; even though I am not planning a wedding. I fell in love with the colors and the simple navigation. Absolutely brilliant!
    Great application of web video. The possibilities are overwhelming!

  5. Ken McCarthy
    March 25th, 2006 at 16:49 | #5

    Hi all,
    Some answers to questions…
    1. Cost
    Brad told me, but let me clear it with him first about publishing it here.
    I can tell you this. The video production itself only cost only 5% of what it cost the company that did the Halloween costume production channel.
    2. Bandwidth
    Maybe there will be a major breakthrough in transmitting video through low bandwidth accounts. I hope so, but what we know for sure is that the number of consumers with high bandwidth continue to grow.
    From a marketers point of view, the market of high bandwidth people is big enough to make it more than worthwhile to create content exclusively for people with big pipes.
    3. Courses I recommend?
    Nothing right now.
    Everything I’ve seen so far charges a lot for a little. And there is a lot of p*ss poor advice being dispensed.
    Internet video boils down to three things:
    a. Strategy – which you can get by watching and thinking
    b. Learning to produce video – which you can learn at a local community college (or hook up with someone who can)
    c. Learning to compress and upload video – ditto
    From a strategic point of view, you can learn more from looking at Brad’s site than you can from all the courses I’ve seen put together. None of them come close to what he’s done in terms of marketing smarts.
    I live in the boonies myself (though we do get cable from Time-Warner). It was hard finding anyone local who is up on the Internet side of the technology, but I ran ads on Craigslist.org and found someone.
    Your ideal advisor on the tech side is someone who lives and breaths the stuff and does it for fun.
    But unless you look, you won’t find.
    4. “How to” info from me
    I’m working on it. It’s an epic task to put it all together in a form people can rapidly absorb.

  6. Gary Dumke
    March 26th, 2006 at 14:11 | #6

    Hi Ken – WOW–you actually respond to posts! Man–I wish I had a nickel for eveytime I have posted a comment on peoples blog and NOT get a reply. But I should have known – you get it–always have – always will. Thats why I follow you. Thanks again for the info on video-and I hope you get your “stuff” on video done soon–but I also know you got your seminar coming up shortly – all I can say is that when its done – I’ll be standing in line–and I agree on another point–lots of p*ss poor advice out there for BIG bucks! Again–thanks for all the good stuff you share – (although Brads is very cool–I still cast my vote for French Maid TV!)
    Thanks so much again from a fellow booneyite
    Gary D
    Sullivan Ohio

  7. March 26th, 2006 at 16:13 | #7

    Superb! And it’s cross-browser and cross-platform, unlike the Halloween costumes video. Not to mention much better done.
    It’s true that the video won’t play well on everyone’s machine. (It’s almost unwatchable on my old Powerbook.) But it pays to be out front. I hang out a lot in forums with people who buy and sell domains, and not too long ago someone wanted to know what weddingdress.tv was worth. All the responders thought it was worthless because it had a .tv extension and the main part of the domain “didn’t relate” to the .tv extension. Talk about clueless…
    The field is still wide open, but I bet it won’t be for long.

  8. March 27th, 2006 at 06:56 | #8

    A template approach can reduce production to mere formula, so that professional results can be obtained if you don’t want to vary the offering. Brightcove just bought a company that’s been doing that for online news. Why not a similar one for online shopping?

  9. Valerie Riggs
    March 27th, 2006 at 13:03 | #9

    I am a Smart Beginner who has just finished lesson 2 from your great home study program. I am learning so much, and having a lot of fun. This website on wedding favors is so eye-opening. Thank you so much for leading me in the right direction. One question: The sound from my computer doesn’t sync with the presenter’s lips exactly. Is this fixable?
    Valerie Riggs
    Del Mar, CA

  10. J
    March 27th, 2006 at 18:13 | #10

    An article from 2000.
    Does anyone else feel a strong pull to buy some .tv domains? hehe
    ” PASADENA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 21, 2000–dotTV (www.tv), the exclusive worldwide source for web addresses ending in .tv, today announced that free.tv, china.tv and net.tv have each sold for initial annual registration fees of $100,000.
    With an estimated net present value of future registration fees of $2 million, the sales of free.tv, china.tv and net.tv represent 3 of the top 10 domain sales in domain history. dotTV has a hybrid pricing model where most .tv addresses are available on a first come first served basis for an initial annual registration fee of $50, while generic “dictionary” names, such as business.tv and news.tv, are available by auction.
    As the Internet continues to evolve into a more visually engaging and dynamic medium, the .tv domain is rapidly emerging as the “must-have” web address. dotTV offers the only top-level domain that truly symbolizes convergence, rich media, streaming video and other broadband content. According to GreatDomains.com, the leading appraiser and marketplace for domain names, dotTV has already achieved an overall value rating second only to .com — a clear indicator of how rapidly the .tv domain is growing in demand and recognition.
    “This was really a small sum of money to pay for a company name and address that will only become more valuable — it fit with our vision perfectly,” said Ric Johnson, President of Free.tv. “The technology to combine television viewing with the Internet is here today, and dotTV is the at the forefront of this convergence. The ability to find a short, meaningful .tv domain name means that companies have a brand that is instantly recognizable around the world.”
    “dotTV’s addresses are rapidly being embraced by companies and individuals around the world,” said Lou Kerner, CEO of dotTV. “A .tv web address is the perfect online identity that symbolizes the movement towards rich media on the Internet.”
    dotTV announced the availability of .tv Internet addresses earlier this year, uniting “TV,” the world’s most recognized two letter symbol, with the World Wide Web to empower companies, organizations and individuals to create the global Internet destinations and brands of tomorrow. Leading companies from around the globe that have adopted the .tv domain name include Sega of America, Columbia TriStar International Television, Billabong, Zee TV, TVB Online, Carsey-Werner Company and over 150 leading broadcasters from around the globe, including PAX TV, TV Norge, Granada Sky, British Telecom, Globo and affiliates of all of the major U.S. broadcasting networks. Inquiries can be made at the company’s web site, http://www.tv.”
    System seminar is going to be awesome!

  11. Ken McCarthy
    March 28th, 2006 at 15:44 | #11

    – Chui: Thanks for a very good idea.
    – Valerie: I don’t know the answer.
    – Domain names with TV in them: My one word answer Yes!
    And don’t neglect tv.com. As in SportsTV.com, BusinessTV.com etc.
    You’ll find most of the very best ones are already gone – and that I some of them, though not as many as I would have liked 🙂
    If you have an idea for a video web site and the TV.com name is available, I’d grab it and hold onto it. For $7-8 a year, you can afford to hold onto a good name for a long, long time, but if someone else gets it, you’ll be out of luck.
    As for the .tv extension, I have not bought any of those.
    Keep in mind, people have a strong habit of typing .com.
    Also the .tv extensions are controlled by a little island country in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And they can jack the annual fees up to whatever they want, whenever they want without limit as it appears they have already started doing by auctioning the generics.

  12. April 5th, 2006 at 00:03 | #12

    Incidentally checkout http:/www.peeweebit.com which I found through an Australian marketeer’s website. It has a genuine feel to the video.

Comments are closed.